Effects of self-discrepancies on activity-related behaviour: Explaining disability and quality of life in patients with chronic low back pain

I.P.J. Huijnen*, H.P.J. Kindermans, H.A.M. Seelen, M.L. Peters, R.J.E.M. Smeets, J.L. Serroyen, J. Roelofs, M. Goossens, J.A. Verbunt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In chronic low back pain (CLBP) research, the self-discrepancy model has been applied to explain dysfunctional avoidance and persistence behaviour. The main aim of this study was to evaluate whether specific self-discrepancies in patients with CLBP are associated with the abovementioned types of activity-related behaviour and whether changes in self-discrepancies over time are associated with changes in activity-related behaviour. Furthermore, the aim was to evaluate whether avoidance and persistence behaviour are associated with a higher level of disability and a diminished quality of life and whether changes over time in avoidance and persistence behaviour result in changes in disability and quality of life. A longitudinal cohort study in a sample of patients with CLBP (N = 116), in which self-discrepancies, disability, quality of life, and objectively registered characteristics of activity-related behaviour were measured, was performed to evaluate the pathways in the aforementioned self-discrepancy model. Results indicate that patients with CLBP who feel closer to their ideal-other show more characteristics of persistence behaviour. Patients who move further away from their ideal-own also show more characteristics of persistence behaviour. Furthermore, in patients characterized as avoider, a decrease in a patient's daily uptime was associated with a decrease of mental health-related quality of life. (C) 2011 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2165-2172
Number of pages8
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


  • Chronic low back pain
  • Activity-related behaviour
  • Accelerometry
  • Self-discrepancies
  • FEAR

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